<Note: This is a continuation of my last post: Should I re-define Early Retirement? At least for me?>
Doing what I love – What in the world is that going to look like?
The answer is: A have no idea. Not a clue.
Now, that’s a little disappointing now isn’t it? (Especially if you are me)
The possibilities are so wide open that it’s paralyzing to start thinking about …. Where in the world do I begin? … Well, what do I know? I know I need a side-hustle. I know it needs to be something I love. I know I need confidence that I can actually do this.
Let’s start with Side Hustle School. But wait, what’s the tuition for this school? Free?!? That sounds too good to be true. It can’t possibly be any good. Well, let’s see. If you want more info, click here.
Chris Guillebeau is currently (when I wrote this) at 120 short podcasts highlighting real people, who have started real ‘side hustles’. I need confidence, so this sounds like a great place to begin. I am off to listen to Podcast #1.
-The next day-
I am back, I am somewhere around podcast #10. They are 10 minutes each, this keeps them easy to quickly listen to, but they are still full of information. (Side note: I had never heard of Chicken Saddles before this.) Back on topic: So far the variety, such as service vs. goods, of the side hustles has been great. They seem to be building my confidence, so I will keep on listening to the podcasts and I will keep you updated. They are an incredible resource for free, thanks Chris for the unbelievable time you must have put into these!
So, what about my side hustle? I am not sure that I am an expert enough in anything to justify an entire website devoted to it. However, there is one thing that I do seem to be an expert on, and have been practicing for years: The struggle. My struggle with meaning and direction. My struggle with discipline, especially in today’s online world of distractions. My struggle with starting a side hustle and promoting it on the web, which is very overwhelming.
So, my product is my story, the struggle with motivation. Can this be a product? I don’t know. But, I have to be me, I have to be honest, and I think that many, many people are also struggling. In today’s picture perfect world of Facebook, Instagram, etc., others may feel like me, that they are virtually (get it, ‘virtually’?) alone. They may also be paralyzed when they think about what to do. The best part, they can watch the struggle and then the victory happen (Yup, I just predicted victory. This may seem bold, but what do you want me to do, predict defeat? Remind me not to use you as my life coach ….. 🙂 ). It’s one thing to take all the success stories after the fact and report on them. This is beneficial and motivating for sure. What we don’t know is the number of people that started and failed to produce the success stories we see. Wouldn’t it be motivating to watch someone work through the struggle and succeed? Of course, the flip side is that I would have great motivation to succeed, since an audience is watching.
I was just messaging with a friend this morning, and he pointed out that …. well, I’ll just put his words here. “Personally, I feel that your greatest gift is the job you and your wife have done with your family. I would include as much as possible about how you choose to live simply and how experiences are more important than things. That’s inspiring.” He’s right about something. I am passionate about my kids. Right now we are ‘plugged into the world’, living in a house, going to a school, etc. It’s not easy raising 5 kids, and it’s not easy trying to raise them to think differently than just about every other message that comes their way. Like the rest of us, they don’t seem to naturally want less stuff, or even pick up their stuff for that matter! So, my struggle to raise a simple, intentional, serving family will also be my product.
Is my struggle a ‘product’? Can it be monetized? I really don’t know, it’s the real me, and it’s all I have. I have read a ‘blogging trainer’ that said you should never start a blog and then monetize it later, you should figure that out from the start. For me, this looks and feels forced. It becomes pop up ads and click-bait links to walk the people down a certain path to get them to buy. The numbers probably show that these approaches work. It seems like it is often taught this way. But, I don’t like this, it’s simply not me. (I just played air guitar while reading over this, I haven’t been excited enough to play air guitar in a while, maybe I am on to something here!) I want to provide a valuable service if I am going to earn money from you. I have chased the almighty dollar too hard before, and it is just not worth it.
- I have no idea what is going on (That’s a shocker!)
- Product – My struggle with motivation.
- Product – My struggle as a parent, how do I equip my children to help them avoid/navigate the pitfalls of life? How do I raise a simple, intentional, serving family?
So where does that leave me? At least for tangible next steps:
- Keep writing
- www.sidehustleschool.com – motivation
- Children’s picture book with my daughter
- Learn and document the publishing process
- Learn and document the promotion process
- Self-discipline – overcome fear and be able to focus, especially at work. (This one is HUGE for me)
I will let this sit another night, and re-evaluate tomorrow. Thanks for listening, and thanks for rooting for me.